BEND, Ore. (AP) -- Pendleton Woolen Mills is making new Navajo-style blankets using wool and blended hair shed by an unusual herd of white buffalo in central Oregon.Ranching experts say fewer than 50 white buffalo, or American bison, live in the U.S., The Oregonian reported.On a sanctuary east of Bend, 11 of them roam acres of isolated juniper forest under the care of Cynthia Hart-Button and her husband, Charles Button. It's one of the larger collections of white buffalos.Some Native American tribes consider them sacred."The significance of the white buffalo has been recognized by all the tribes that are buffalo culture people," Jim Stone, a Yankton-Yanktonai Sioux, told The Oregonian. Stone is executive director of the Intertribal Buffalo Council in Rapid City, S.D., an organization created to restore buffalo to Indian nations.
The white buffalo's presence is a prophesy of spiritual rebirth - "an indicator of better times coming to tribal people," Stone said. "Historically, that has been the view."
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